I talk to myself.
Quite a lot.
I think my blog is a manifestation of this aspect of me and I use it as a useful tool (well, to me) to explore my thoughts, because I have found that if I write them down, I have to order them otherwise they make no sense.
And in the ordering process there is closer examination and scrutiny.
I wrote recently about the spiritual resonance that I felt after watching Mattias Desmet being interviewed about the new totalitarianism of a technocratic society.
I first came across Mattias in a speech he gave to the European Parliament about totalitarianism, which I thoroughly recommend watching – it’s linked below.
In his second video I wasn’t expecting any insight into my own spiritual journey, just more on totalitarianism, but I guess we’re all on the same journey and Mattias generously shared aspects of his own, which I found to be quite profound.
I’ll back up a little here, and try to wrap things up, hopefully, in a coherent whole.
And, if this feels as though it’s all about me, well it is.
And I don’t mind sharing.
I’m trying to make sense of my own feelings and existence by using those/that of others.
And writing it all down.
When I was at school, standing outside the headmaster’s study in preparation for being caned for some indiscretion and wondering if I’d get the big stick (I think that this was just for show), instead of the whippy cane, I used to calm myself with the thought that “Well, he can’t kill me, so what’s the problem”.
And since then, I’ve moved on.
And death, well, I have already covered my epiphany regarding death in my post “I think I’m full of stalls” means “I’ve just shat myself” ☹️
To summarise, my death doesn’t scare me – I just hope it’s not too painful and that I don’t suffer too much – and in this respect I’d like to be euthanized when life becomes too boring, as maybe it will.
Although I’m still planning on paragliding in to my 80s.
So death is covered.
What about suffering!
Personally, this is a tougher nut to crack than death I think.
There has been a lot of this very recently in Gaza and Israel.
It is truly awful.
What do I think? Well, I’m trying hard to tease out some meaning..
Let’s try this … there are two extremes of people (and every shade in between).
Those who are always looking up at what others possess but that they don’t.
I’ll call these “the aggrieved”.
They feel their pain too keenly and it makes them evil. They want to take from others.
And there are people who look down at those who are less fortunate than themselves and they appreciate how lucky they are.
I’ll call these “the grateful”.
They feel the pain of others too keenly and it makes them compassionate.
For me, there are no sides in the Palestinian/Israel conflict. There is only evil and compassion – the aggrieved and the grateful.
That’s my take on suffering, I think; an oversimplification I know, but a start.
For the record, I’m (trying to be honest here) mainly (🤞🤔 ) with “the grateful”.
What’s the purpose!?
There is no purpose to death and suffering. They just “are”.
They are the opposites of life and joy.
We have to accept both.
But without “death and suffering” would we appreciate “life and joy” more?
Maybe the “aggrieved” think so. Maybe they only want “life and joy”; and they think that this is a possibility that can be delivered by our technocratic society, which has already achieved so much for us?
Whilst the “compassionate” take a more pragmatic approach to this balance, by recognising that politicians, scientists and philanthropists will not manage our expectations as they fail to deliver on the eradication of death and suffering.
Ergo, I think I’m over the death problem and accepting of suffering as an unavoidable consequence of life and living; a worthwhile trade-off if you like.
As Mattias seems to be too.
We can try to mitigate this aspect of our lives – the unavoidable ”death and suffering” – but please don’t be seduced by the promises of a technocratic society, which perhaps, like religion, does not have everyone’s best interests at heart after all. It may lead to an increase in both.
I will leave you with Mattias’s rather elegant conclusion.
“The mystery of life transcends rational understanding and if you continue to build that wall around you, of logical reasoning, because logical reasoning is really building a wall around you, you connect the one logical idea to the other and in this way you isolate yourself from your environment, but as soon as you start to become humble enough, as soon as you start to become aware of the fact that your rational understanding is limited, it is as if literally all these logical building blocks slide away from each other a little bit, and as if the eternal music of life can go through the holes of the wall and can touch the strings of your body and your soul and it is at that moment that you can start to resonate with the mystery of life around you, with the eternal spirit of life, and it is exactly at that moment, and I experienced that in my own life, that you can start to tolerate the idea of death and dying and that’s the most elementary disease of our society, because we believe, we are so obsessed with rational understanding, we don’t know any more what to do with the idea of death, dying, suffering”Mattias Desmet 2022